Checklist for Starting a New Business

This tool intends to walk you through all the issues you should consider in view of starting a new business. You may adapt it to reflect your business needs, type of clientele, products and services you offer.

1. Examine your motivation for business ownership and choose a business suitable for you

• Personal goals and motivation

• Personal skills

2. Evaluate the feasibility of your chosen business

• Calculate financial projections that do not count on loans

• Know where your living expenses will come from during the first year

• Make sure your family is on board

3. Consider start-up requirements and common pitfalls

• Legal forms of organization

• Learn permits, licenses, rules and regulations applicable to your type of business

• Determine the steps to establish a legal business entity

• Determine the types of records to be kept for tax purposes

• Determine the types of recordkeeping and control systems for internal management

• Determine professional needs: marketing, advertising, legal, accounting, tax, insurance and banking

4. Develop your business plan

• Create a business plan

• Think through details

• Revisit and adapt regularly

• Choose a business name and set a starting date

• Choose an adequate location/office space

• Identify your customers and potential competitors

• Develop a marketing plan

5. Develop your financing request and obtain initial capital

6. Finalize all start-up requirements

• Legally separate yourself from your business

• Sign contracts and lease agreements

• Apply for and obtain a business license, pay permits and fees

• Obtain utilities services etc.

• Get furniture and equipment

• Design and print business cards

• Open a business bank account

• Elaborate customers/providers forms and contracts

• Set up your accounting system

• Obtain business insurance

• Open a website and register in social media (when applicable)